|This is a new series we're starting that takes a look at how the PlayStation 3 is progressing, and how it currently stacks up against the competition. At the end, we'll issue a score on a 10-point scale, so as an example, the system would've scored a 2 or 3 - if only for potential and a few decent exclusives - during the early months of its existence.|
We've all noticed how rapidly and significantly the PS3's position has changed over the past couple of years, so we believe it's time to step back and take both an objective and subjective look at the system's current market position (there's always a hint of subjectivity, regardless of the situation). As of now, let's take a look at the pluses and minuses:
Plus: Killzone 2 just launched: It's easily one of the best games of the generation, arguably the best FPS in history, and arguably the best PlayStation 3 exclusive to date. It's both intense and highly polished and is widely considered to be a must-play by most journalists and avid gamers. This should translate to the title being a legitimate system-seller, too, but we won't know that until we see an increase in hardware sales in the next stat report.
Plus: The PSN is on the seemingly permanent upswing: With more and more content flooding our way, we've seen great additions to great titles, a lot of cool content (like Qore and Pulse), and exclusive downloadable titles that have been well worth the price of admission. Most recently, we would point you in the direction of Flower, which remains one of the more impressive achievements we've laid eyes on.
Plus/Neutral: PlayStation Home: This is like a cross because while Home keeps garnering new members and the new Spaces certainly enhance the experience, it seems they're a ways from recognizing the application's true potential. The expectations remain super high, but they've got a lot of work to do.
Neutral: Blu-Ray is still a bonus...but leveling off: Standalone Blu-Ray player prices have fallen and in this economy, it may not be worth it to spring for the $400 PS3. Furthermore, with no massively huge releases since "The Dark Knight," Blu-Ray sales haven't done much of anything. However, the benefit to game developers becomes clearer with every passing day, and let's not forget about the Blu-Ray version of "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children"...
Negative: Still a lack of marketing/advertising: Killzone 2 came and went, and while we did see a few commercials and there was plenty of promotion in print publications and online, I think we all agree it could've been much more visible. They've still got to work this out, and they had better push upcoming exclusives like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and God of War III with more vigor.
Negative: Price: It's still the priciest console out there and the economy just makes everything worse.
In the end, the future outlook for the PS3 remains good. It appears as if it will thrive on the excellent exclusives on the way, and there should be a price cut some time later this year. So in looking at things right now, we will assign a current analysis score of-